Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are getting into the groove at the right stage of the tournament, said skipper Virat Kohli after his side registered a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Wednesday.
Chasing 150, Bangalore were off to a flying start as Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal notched up 48 runs in the first five overs. After the opening duo’s departure, KS Bharat (44) and Glenn Maxwell (50 not out) kept the scoreboard ticking to help RCB record their seventh win of the season.
“We have been getting good opening starts which gives a lot of balance to the team. That’s been the focus with Dev and myself – to get good starts. Everything is coming along nicely and people are making contributions at the right time. We were blown away completely in game one, we took it as a positive. You need to be up with the pace of the tournament,” said Kohli on RCB’s batting display.
The skipper also highlighted his bowling attack’s performance in the middle overs, describing the unit as a “confident and fearless” one. He also mentioned Ewin Lewis’ dismissal as the game-changing moment of the contest.
Earlier, Harshal Patel (3/34), Shahbaz Ahmed (2/10) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/18) played a key role in triggering the Royals’ batting collapse in Dubai.
“Evin Lewis‘s wicket was the game-changing moment. Garton did really well in his first game, he was composed enough to pitch the ball in the right area. We have gotten the rewards because we have been confident and fearless. That’s been the USP of our team in the last two games. Through the middle overs, our bowling has been amazing,” he further said.
Chahal, who picked the Player of the Match for his bowling display, credited the Sri Lanka stint for his IPL turnaround.
“I bowled a little bit slower. In the first half of IPL, I didn’t get wickets in the first three-four matches. After the break, I backed myself. I bowled well in the SL series and I got my confidence back. I wanted to maintain that momentum here,” said the leg-spinner.
The win increases Bangalore’s points to 14 while retaining their third place in the points table. On the other hand, Rajasthan’s chances to achieve a top-four finish look bleak at the moment, with the franchise languishing seventh on the points table with eight points in 11 games.
Captain Sanju Samson, however, said that his unit needs to keep “believing” until their last league game of the season.
“We got a really good start, our openers played really well, but we couldn’t capitalize on it. Think the middle-order needs some confidence, it has been a hard one week for us, we need to put up a good fight.
“We don’t have anything to lose and that gives a lot of freedom to go out and express ourselves. Funny things can happen in IPL, we need to keep believing till the last match we play,” said Samson.